A Clothing Line for Women in Tech
Check it out at codeinstyle.dev!
Hi, I’m Daphne, a software developer and a Computer Science student. I started a Code In Style, a clothing line for women in tech!
What is Code In Style?
Code in Style is a clothing line that promotes women in tech through empowering and meaningful designs that represent us and our support for diversity. We’ve all heard of the stereotypical “hoodies and jeans” programmer outfit, but that is not what makes you a good developer. Don’t worry confidence about sticking out as the “girl” in the room when you dress up or talk about diversity. As my confidence grew, I realized that I shouldn’t perceive myself through other people’s gaze. This is why I created clothing with words like “women in tech” and “diversity is a superpower”, to remind us that we’re all accomplished women who are moving the needle. What we wear should not be something that holds us back, but an avenue for us to show our pride and voice the changes we’d like to make in the industry. We all deserve to be celebrated!
Who am I?
I’m a software developer with a passion for diversity in tech. I entered tech three years ago when I switched my major from Microbiology to Computer Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Since then, it’s been a whirlwind navigating through school, internships, and constantly asking myself “what in the world am I doing here?”. I found my sense of belonging through the support from my friends, mentors, other women in tech and allies.
Knowing that diversity can shape one’s career, I co-founded the Women in CS club at UBC and spoke at Superposition IV to middle and high school girls interested in tech. I aspire and continue to look for ways to reach beyond my university and support other women. Diversity is not something that only companies are responsible to push for. Each of us can and are encouraged to take a part. The more interconnected we are, the more amplified our collective voices would be.
I started studying Computer Science back in 2018. The push for more women in tech was becoming much greater, and I was proud of the progression in the industry. However, while I appreciated the opportunities, I couldn’t help but feel self-conscious about my gender.
I was told that I looked like a product manager intern, not a software developer. I was told that that I could get all my internships from diversity quotas, not my abilities. I didn’t want to be evaluated by a different benchmark. I wanted my gender to be left out of the equation and to be seen by my raw skills only.
So, I sought to conceal the side of me that’s stereotypically feminine. I avoided talking about my interests, like fashion, cooking and beauty, and attempted to play Smash and foosball. I thought blending in was the best way to make my abilities stand out.
It took me years to figure it out. But when I did, it was empowering.
I could be both a female software engineer and a proficient software engineer – they’re not contradicting concepts. My gender does not cloak my skills, it’s just who I am. The people who gave me the comments have a lot to learn to become an ally. I shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable to fit in an industry.
I set a goal to take full ownership of and confidence in my gender. I wore a shirt I got from Grace Hopper Conference for the first time. I felt exposed, but I told myself that I belong in the field, just like all the 25,000 women at the conference. I no longer avoid sharing my passion and even found ways to incorporate it to tech. I now proudly make tech-themed food and started a clothing line!
You are your own unique person. I want you to celebrate who you are. Pick out words that mean something to you. If you feel like an imposter when you call yourself a “software engineer”, wear the words “software engineer” in front of you because you are one. Set a vision of how you want to feel. Each time you wear it or see it, you’re making any incremental change in your mindset to become what you envision.
At the end of the day, you’re not alone! We’re all in this together and you got a community who are here to support you. Express who you are and what you believe in loud and proud.
How to get involved
Code in Style website has a community component where women in tech can share their perspectives of what diversity means to them and anecdotes of how they entered tech. Head to codeinstyle.dev if you’d like to share your story and inspire other women!
I only recently launched Code In Style, but I’m seeking for ways to give back through donations to organizations that support women in tech. If you have a recommendation of an organization, please let me know!
Let’s get connected!
Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @DevDaphne (where I also post my tech-themed food) or find my contact info at daphneliu.com.! I hope to talk to you soon.
See more at codeinstyle.dev!